Star Trek : Let That Be Your Last Battlefield

July 14, 2014 in Guest Blogs, Star Trek by GuestBlogs

A Guest Blog by Mindless-Droid


This week’s classic Star Trek episode is Let That Be Your Last battlefield. The episode synopsis from the official Star Trek site is here. Seems they have taken the video of all of season three episodes off the official site except All Our Yesterdays.

On route to the planet Ariannus to help wipe out a bacterial infection that threatens all life there the Enterprise intercepts a stolen shuttlecraft. Using the tractor beam to bring the ship aboard the pilot Lokai who stole the shuttlecraft is from the planet Cheron. Soon after an alien ship comes in contact with the Enterprise and right before colliding with the ship Bele who is also from Cheron transports aboard. It seems Bele has been chasing Lokai for crimes committed some 50,000 years ago and the fact that Lokai is white on the right side and black on the left and Bele is white on the left side and black on the right.

Bele demands that they be taken to their home planet of Cheron. Kirk not taking sides tell both men that they will have to wait till the Enterprise completes her mission before their case will be heard. Bele not wanting to wait commandeers the ship through the force of his will jeopardizing the mission. Kirk initiates the self-destruct mode to get Bele to release control and at the last second he relents. Having regained control of the ship the crew completes their mission. Bele once again gains control of the ship by destroying the navigation and self-destruct systems and sets a course for Cheron. Kirk regains control as they approach the planet which they scan and find that everyone is dead consumed by war that raged for centuries. Bele and Lokai unable to let go of their hate resume the chase through the Enterprise and down to their dead planet.


While researching this episode I found a lot of comments that the message of bigotry was to obvious or heavy handed which I can see. Although the makeup making Bele and Lokai half black and half white on different sides was done well (They had to have shirts that zipped up the back and wear glove so that the makeup wouldn’t smear) it would have made for a better payoff if their differences were more subtle. I always thought there was a hint of artificial bio engineering done to the people of Cheron and that’s why they were distinguished in that way as natural evolution wouldn’t seem to be able to cut your skin tone right in half so perfectly. Overall though it is a decent episode with some powerful moments and a deep message. You get to see Rodenberry’s core vision here of Star Trek and man’s future being a bright future as seen in the Enterprise’s crew where things like bigotry have been rendered to the ash heap of history in contrast to Bele and Lokai’s destructive hatred. A message that for its time was another example of Star Trek pushing the boundaries and boldly going where no show had gone before.

I noticed with the re-mastered versions you not only get the new portions but a lot more detail pops out at you like Uhura’s control panel.

“You’re pumping him with your noxious potions” Spock and McCoy always have some good banter.

If he stole a shuttlecraft from Starbase 4 didn’t anyone report seeing him there and how did he get so far into space with just impulse power?

You can really notice the reused shots of the back of Sulu and Chekov especially when it’s not Chekov.

This was one of those episodes that saved the show money I believe they called it a bottle show as it was contained on the Enterprise and only a few costumes and some makeup was needed to produce it.

If Kirk knows where Cheron is why don’t they know about their civilization and advanced technology?

They never really do explain how Bele controls the ship and what power he has except his will.

How do they know where Cheron is?

Who thought of moving the camera in and out on the red alert light?

50,000 years they really live long but I guess that is necessary for the payoff.

Now, how are they generating personal shields?

It’s a cool scene but the self-destruct sequence takes rather long. What if it needed to be done quickly? We get the same self-destruct sequence in The Search for Spock with the same codes but with Scotty as the second in command and Chekov taking his place. The countdown is thirty seconds longer in the movie counting down from sixty seconds instead of thirty.

Code 000 destruct 0.

If he can control the ship why can’t he control the computer?

The Enterprise re-mastered approach to Ariannus is very cool.


Ariannus is another of those planets that as part of the story but doesn’t need much extrapolation but that you wish you could have learned more about.

How does everybody know so much about each other in this episode if they never met before?

I really like the new shots of the Enterprise and the planets especially when the ship assumes orbit.

Bele, Lokai let go of your hate another Star Trek, Star Wars parallel.

The final scene was very well done. They did a great job making Charon look dead on the re-mastered version seeing the fires burning from orbit. Hearing Bele and Lokai’s hate and Kirk’s pleas for letting go of that hate was powerful. You really get to see the angst on Kirk and his crew as Bele and Lokai fight and flee the bridge even Spock can’t understand the illogic of it all. Then after Bele and Lokai fled Kirk’s exasperated response to Uhura asking if she should alert security when he said “Where can they run.” It made for a rather dramatic and sad scene.

Good news again this week for the red shirts as none were harmed during this episode.